Thursday, January 13, 2011

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies


I often tend to complain about pharmacy school.  Grant it, I love what I am doing and the journey I am about to embark upon as a pharmacist; however, it is seriously a lot of work, and often a pain in the butt!  But that is the path I chose. lol
Anyway, sometimes pharmacy school has its perks.  For example, I am taking a teaching elective, and each student in the class is required to do a 10 minutes mini lecture on a topic NOT related to pharmacy or health. One such topic was how to chose the best chocolate chip cookie.  Immediately, I was intrigued. The student, Heather, began her discussion by having us describe the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  Most members of the audience said things like "big", "Soft", "Chewy", "a lot of chips", etc. Next, heather began to discuss the world renowned chocolatier Jaques Torres, Mr. Chocolate himself. He has a store in Manhattan and Brooklyn where he makes all of his delicious creations fresh daily.  Luckily, he also has an online store (see link) where you can order select goodies to be shipped.
Heather introduced us to his chocolate chip cookie recipe, how unique and precise it is, and then she gave us the recipe to take home and try! Little did she know, that by this simple act, she had altered my my chocolate chip cookie life as I know it! Finally, she let us do a blind taste test of multiple types of chocolate chip cookies. I must say, "Best pharmacy lecture EVER!"
Obviously, I immediately took this recipe home to give it a try.  Let me tell you, she was right.  These are the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I have ever eaten.  Well worth the 24+ hours of waiting and prep time! I am officially a loyal fan of the Jaques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie Club (that probably truly does exist on fb or some other social network), and as such, I vow to always grace friends, relatives, business associates, and myself with nothing but Jaques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Thank you so much Heather, what an awesome presentation!


Ingredients





*2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.



Directions

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.


2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.


3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.


4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet*, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.





Baker's Notes:
* If you have a kitchen scale, dust it off and use it!  Or, if you have been thinking about buying a kitchen scale, do it before you make this recipe!  I was shocked at the difference between cup measurements and oz. measurements listed in this recipe.  Baking is a science, precision is crucial, and this recipe deserves precision.  You'll thank me later.
** I had a bit of trouble working the dough into balls when it was so cold.  I eventually was able to prepare 36 cookies; however, it took forever!  So, next time I allowed the dough to soften, formed it into balls, and then put it back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before baking.  It yielded the same results, so I would suggest the later method to save time.

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